ReformArmenia | Armenians demand the truth about the war

To demand truth.
To begin reforms.

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Extensive reforms are needed to strengthen the country and to create a modern army.

We, Armenians in the homeland and around the world, are today a divided people. Yet despite our troubles we all remain united by one desire: building an effective state and a stronger army to safeguard our future. Only through total reform is this possible now. But first, we need to know the truth behind the outcome of war. We demand an official inquiry.

Unfortunately, recalling the aftermath of the 2016 war, and looking at the current state of Armenian politics, it’s likely any inquiry entrusted to the government alone will drown in ineffective bureaucracy and political infighting, ignoring the lessons we now desperately need.

Therefore, we demand the National Assembly pass a law establishing an independent truth commission to investigate the causes of last year’s tragedy. Its members must be trusted impartial experts, granted legal authority to summon any witness and access all evidence. And in the public interest, all findings must be made public.

Today, Armenia needs answers. Only when we get them can we focus on rebuilding the dream of a strong independent homeland together. To demand the truth, please sign below.

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Truth commission

1. The investigation into the circumstances of the war cannot take place without the approval of the National Assembly, which will issue the necessary permits and provide access to classified material. The National Assembly will grant the truth commission a legal mandate, establishing its legal boundaries, area of responsibilities, parameters specifying its activities, a timeline for the completion of its reports, as well as prove to the public its capacity to complete its task.
2. Members of Parliament who will be involved in the process of forming the Commission will be required to undergo a thorough evaluation for their professional competence (knowledge of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Armenia on the regulations of the National Assembly). Selection will also be provided for candidates for the Commission. The Commission will include authoritative and well-trusted military specialists and other professionals.
3. The mandate of the Commission will be relatively comprehensive, which would include, granting the Commission power to subpoena witnesses, access to databases and materials, initiating the process of deprivation of immunity (such as MP legal immunity), and the ability to send requests to state authorities to search the premises.
4. The Commission will have structured committees (military, diplomatic, information, government, etc.), committee Chairs will be members of the Executive Committee, which in turn will be chaired by the Chair of the Commission.
5. The Chair of the Commission will have powers for guiding and advising Commission committees. The chair’s main role should be in providing public legitimacy to the proceedings.
6. Participants of the process and people involved in the investigation will provide explanatory material on their activities before and during the war, and - upon special request - after the war. Along with this, the Commission is also obliged to report on the activities of its committees to Parliament and the public.
7. The finish line of the Commission’s activity will be after the Commission releases the final results of the investigation to the National Assembly and the public (it should indicate the reasons responsible for the pre-war and in-war situations, as well as identifying any and all actions that directly caused them), as well as a plan on withdrawing Armenia from the current situation, reforming the army and government agencies. Both documents should be evidence based and, thus, legitimate in the eyes of all Armenian society.

The Initiative group

Philip Arzumanian

Master in Political science at International Center of Academy of Science of RA. Founder of ARZ Holding LLC, working on economical and scientific programs. Cooperating with "Adkars" realising Smart city and other investment programs in Armenia.

Ruben Hovhannisyan

Social science researcher, PhD student at Higher School of Economics in Moscow, author of scientific works and articles.

Eric Hacopian

For 22 years, he is the head of EDH & Associates, a consulting firm based in Southern California. Worked on local and presidential election campaigns in the United States. Since 2017 he has been living in Armenia.

Vardan Hovhannisyan

Filmmaker and producer. He covered the first and second Karabakh wars from the front line, as well as the history of people after the war. Was in captivity. Since 1993 founder and head of Bars Media. Bars Media's films are shown on the largest international TV channels.

Davit Tonoyan

Director of Armenian Museum of Moscow and Culture of Nations, co-founder and co-chairman of the Association of Armenians of Russia, lawyer, public figure.

George Derlugyan

George Derlugyan - born in Krasnodar, educated in Moscow, served in Mozambique, worked in Chicago, in the last ten years teaches sociology at New York University in Abu Dhabi and lives in Yerevan. His scholarly works are translated in over a dozen languages.

Nerses Kopalyan

Аssistant professor-in-residence of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Specialist in international relations, political theory, and philosophy of science.

Angela Abelyan

Graduate of St. Petersburg State University, lawyer, member of the Chamber of Advocates of the Republic of Armenia. Specialization - civil, administrative and natural resource law.

New Army for New Armenia